Abbreviations are used very frequently in medicine. They boost efficiency as long as they are used intelligently. The advantages of brevity should be weighed against the possibilities of crypticness (making the communication harder for others to understand) and ambiguity (having more than one possible interpretation). Certain medical abbreviations are avoided to prevent mistakes, according to best practices (and in some cases regulatory requirements); these are flagged in the list of abbreviations used in medical prescriptions.
Davis, Neil M. (2008). Medical Abbreviations: 30,000 Conveniences at the Expense of Communication and Safety (14th ed.). Warminster, PA, USA: Neil M Davis Associates. ISBN978-0-931431-14-2. Available online (by subscription) at MedAbbrev.com.
Jablonski, Stanley (2008). Jablonski's Dictionary of Medical Acronyms and Abbreviations with CD-ROM (6th ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders. ISBN978-1-4160-5899-1.
Sloane, Sheila B. (1997). Medical Abbreviations & Eponyms (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders. ISBN978-0-7216-7088-1.